EVERYONE knows what has happened in Wisconsin, under ACT 10 Public employee unions lost their ability to bargain and were forced to take a pretty significant pay cut(among other things). This was all done in the name of "balancing the budget". Our local media jumped right on the bandwagon, with the Wisconsin State Journal writing this on February 18, 2011(upset at the teachers for taking part in democracy):
So many Madison teachers called in “sick” for work that school officials canceled classes for a third straight day Friday. That irresponsible action has forced thousands of parents to scramble to find child care or miss work themselves.
The sick-outs this week spread to a slew of additional school districts across Dane County and other parts of the state, with some teachers joining union-backed demonstrations at the state Capitol in Madison.
We don’t begrudge the teachers for speaking up and getting involved in government decisions that affect them. We understand their opposition to Gov. Scott Walker’s plans to scale back their collective bargaining rights and benefits.
But the school day ends around 3:30 p.m. That leaves teachers in Madison and surrounding communities plenty of time after work to drive Downtown if they wish to have their say at the Capitol.
Senate Democrats skipped town Thursday to avoid and delay a vote on Walker’s budget plan. That was irresponsible, too.
But schoolteachers are closer to our kids, making the impact of their bad behavior on families and education immediate. They shouldn’t walk out on their students and community. Their absence is hurting their cause.
Most logical thinking Wisconsinites know that the public employees, who perform such a valuable service, were not the cause of any structural deficit. Unfortunately we did not have anyone else to make that case with our local corporate media very much in favor of breaking the unions!
Who knew however that you could look to Missouri for sanity? The St. Louis Post Dispatch is on the the ALEC agenda and calls out the politicians for it!
For those of you wondering who could possibly be blamed for the moribund economy all of us in Missouri and the nation suffered through in recent years, worry not.
The Missouri Senate has found the culprit. It’s public employees.
It’s those absurdly high-paid teachers, nurses, janitors, secretaries, pothole fixers and home health care workers.
Early Tuesday morning, while some of those workers were helping roll over your grandma or grandpa at the nursing home so they didn’t get bed sores, the Republicans who lead the state Senate set things right. They gave initial approval to a bill that will make it a little harder for the unions that represent those public employees to collect fees that might be used to elect thoughtful people to elected office.
It’s not like those unions have been very successful. Missouri state workers are the lowest paid in the nation. Union membership has been declining. The candidates the unions generally oppose, Republicans, hold overwhelming majorities in both the House and the Senate.
But because union-bashing has become a big-money deal on the national scene (thanks to Wisconsin and Michigan), the lemmings in the Missouri Senate don’t want to be left behind. They’re doing the bidding of their corporate overlords in the American Legislative Exchange Council, which promotes cookie-cutter legislation written by corporate lawyers to enhance their bottom lines.
So, for those of you keeping score at home, this is what the Senate did (so far) in one of the key legislative weeks, the last before spring break, sending a signal to all where its priorities lie:
And the week is not yet over.
- It raised taxes on poor people.
- It cut taxes for rich people.
- It hurt teachers, nurses and other public employees.
What makes the debate over Senate Bill 29 such a farce is that its sponsor, Sen. Dan Brown, R-Rolla, couldn’t even properly explain the bill or its rationale when challenged on the Senate floor by Sen. Scott Sifton, D-Affton, during several hours of debate Monday and Tuesday.
Known colloquially as “Doc” Brown, the Republican senator and veterinarian was merely the stooge chosen by deep-pocketed donors to advance their agenda at the expense of the little people. We’re sure he’s kinder to animals.
Mr. Brown, along with other supporters of the union-bashing bill, including Speaker of the House Tim Jones, R-Eureka, have the gall to suggest all they are doing is protecting the freedom of workers.
THEN they pointed out the elephant in the room that I have never seen in print in WI!
Mr. Brown and his so-called small government allies actually want to make government bigger, by prescribing in explicit detail, down to the font size, new paperwork that must be enacted by governments to suppress union political power.
Yes ACT 10 is BIGGER government on a grand scale brought to you by the "small governemnt" loving republican party. Finally, Missouri did the exact same thing as WI and the Post Dispatch also did something that has never been in print in WI, before. Explained EXACTLY why first responders were excluded from the republicans union busting(emphasis mine)!
The proof to the deception of SB 29 comes in its last section, which exempts police and firefighter unions from its provisions. During the debate Monday night, Mr. Sifton pressed Mr. Brown on why, if the bill was really about helping workers, didn’t the same “freedoms” need to be applied to police officers and firefighters?
Mr. Brown had no answer to that question. Mr. Sifton’s thoughtful questions eventually became too much for Mr. Brown, who sat down and refused to engage in a discussion that involved anything other than the talking points he had been provided by his funders.
The reason “first responder” unions are exempted, of course, is because they have effective lobbies and their membership is more likely to vote Republican. That very exemption proves that SB29 is nothing but another partisan wedge, introduced to seek maximum political damage on a group of people who, at an average salary of $36,985, are the lowest paid state workers in the country.
Then they wrapped it up very nicely, in a breath of logical fresh air that is missing in Wisconsin and America, and a huge part of the reason why we are in this mess in the first place(a corporate kowtow media)!
Senate Republicans should have more pride than this. If they want to blame working people for the state’s economic problems, while banks and corporations sit on record profits, good luck with that argument. But have the courage to tell the truth.